Jim Packer splits with Canadian Anglicans
James I. Packer, one of the world’s most famous theologians, is reported to have left the Anglican Church of Canada because he believes many of its bishops are ‘arguably heretical’ for adhering to ‘poisonous liberalism’. He said he hesitated before using harsh terms to describe the Anglican bishops, but believed he should do so in the name of truth.
Dr Packer was recently named by Time magazine as one of the planet’s 25 most influential evangelicals. He has sold more than four million copies of his many books.
He and ten other Anglican clergy have left the Canadian national denomination and placed themselves under a South American archbishop because they were being ‘starved out and worn down’.
Oxford-trained Dr Packer was interviewed at a 300-strong gathering of the breakaway Anglican Network in Canada, which officially welcomed South American Anglican Primate Gregory Venables as their spiritual leader – against the express wishes of Canada’s top Anglican Primate, Fred Hiltz.
Dr Packer urged Anglicans adamantly opposed to liberal developments in the Anglican church in Canada and the US to remain ‘tough’, as they realign themselves under Archbishop Venables into a new, non-geographically-based form of Anglicanism.
While such a move by Dr Packer will be welcome to true Evangelicals, it remains sadly true that his own consistent lack of ‘toughness’ on the scope and implications of justification by faith alone, along with his participation in Evangelicals and Catholics Together, have created far more theological confusion than Canadian liberalism.